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Ko up to 20th but title defence slips away

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/06/2017
Lydia Ko © ANDREW BOYERS / Reuters Lydia Ko

A further slip down the world rankings appears on the cards for New Zealand's Lydia Ko despite a slick second round at the LPGA tournament in Rogers, Arkansas.

Ko climbed 33 places to a share of 20th at the three-round NW Arkansas Championship, a tournament she won last year.

However, her round of four-under 67 was overshadowed by the brilliant 61 shot by Korean So Yeon Ryu, a tournament record at the Pinnacle Country Club.

Revelling in calm conditions after a two-week break, world No.3 Ryu is 16-under, five shots clear of her nearest chasers.

She is on track to break the overall tournament record of 17-under set by Ko 12 months ago.

Ryu is also poised to leapfrog second-ranked Ko in the world standings.

Earlier this month the 20-year-old Kiwi lost her lengthy grip on top spot when Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn took over.

Ko, on five-under, can produce a fourth-successive top-10 placing with a strong finish on Sunday.

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